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Proposed Budget Would Double Funding to Repair City Streets

Are San Diego city streets making the grade -- or literally falling apart? Mayor Jerry Sanders says they're bad enough to warrant a 2008 budget increase for street repair. Full Focus reporter Heathe

Are San Diego city streets making the grade -- or literally falling apart? Mayor Jerry Sanders says they're bad enough to warrant a 2008 budget increase for street repair. Full Focus reporter Heather Hill has the story.

Mayor Sanders is setting aside $25.5 million for street repair in his proposed budget for fiscal year 2008. That's almost twice the amount allocated this year. General Services Director Mario Sierra says too many of the city's 2,800 miles of streets have significant structural problems.

Sierra : What you would expect to find on a street that's considered acceptable is maybe minor cracking, one or two potholes, excellent driveability.

But over 60 percent of San Diego’s streets didn't receive an “acceptable” rating from independent consultant Stantec Incorporated. More than half the city's streets were rated either “fair” or “poor,” meaning extensive damage and cracking -- and for drivers -- a rougher ride.

The extra money proposed for next year will fund repairs for about 135 street miles, only 35 miles more than last year. So why will it cost so much more?

Sanders : The difference is more asphalt overlays where we’re completely redoing streets, instead of the slurry seal, which we've also increased the mileage on, but that's intended to preserve streets in good condition.

The city will prioritize repairs according to street condition, location and traffic flow.

If you want to find out how your street measures up according to the Stantec study, you can call the Street Division Information Line at 527-7500.

The city estimates it would cost about $380 million dollars to bring all city streets up to the “acceptable” rating level.